Try cutting your own hair or you can even go to a cosmetology school where they generally charge very little, if anything. This can save anywhere from $20-$50 per month. Saves us $25 every two weeks, yea my hair grows fast!
2. Brown bag your lunch! Eating out costs between $30-50 a week, that’s $120-250 a month or $1,440-3,000 a year. I don’t know about you but that is way more than I am comfortable spending for convenience when I could use that toward a vacation.
3. To piggyback on brown-bagging your lunch, you can also sign up for a service like eMeals to help you plan out meals throughout the week. They actually have some really good recipes and they even provide you a shopping list. Of course if you actually know how to cook you can just sit down and plan out your week,but if you are like me you are lost after about 2 meals then you need help with either a recipe or how to maximize your shopping for all meals for the week. eMeals.com will take the hassle out of it for a small annual fee.
4. You don’t really need premium cable, or cable at all for that matter, try a lower package or try to negotiate a deal with your provider to get a better deal. I’m a huge fan of AT&T Uverse, they will discount packages for existing customers like they do for new customers as long as you call back and request the better deal. I have no problem doing this, if you want to keep me as a customer then you can discount my rate.
5. Check your data plan usage on your smartphone. If you don’t use at least half of the data then downgrade your package. If you have an unlimited plan with AT&T or Verizon, I would keep that plan as long as you can. You can also look into getting a pay as you go phone from Straight Talk Wireless or Net 10 Wireless. They have plans for every budget and there is no contract.
6. Cancel magazine, satellite radio or newspaper subscriptions that you don’t use. I for one don’t read the paper anymore so we canceled our subscription because I get nearly all of the information I need from news feeds from blogs and news apps. The days of paper “news” are gone. Everything is nearly instantly uploaded online and most of the time is free.
7. Prioritize your purchases. Instead of buying things whenever you feel like it try and plan on when you will be buying larger items. For example my wife and I are planning on buying a camera soon but we are still in the researching phase and saving up to pay for it outright. If you have trouble saving for things then you may want to look into getting a savings account, such as Capital One 360, that will allow you to automatically transfer money whenever you want or using a budgeting system such as YNAB to help you plan for larger expenses.
8. Stop getting coffee at the coffee shop on the way in to work or school. I know that the coffee from the coffee shop is always better than coffee from home, even if you use that brand, it seems to never be quite as good. I know I am a coffee snob, per my wife. I love Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. My cup costs around $2.48 where I live and that is the extra large cup. I would be spending over $12 a week or nearly $650 a year by stopping every day. Most people tend to spend upwards of $5 per day on coffee. My point is that even though it isn’t quite as good it is still really good compared to other brands. Save the money you will literally piss it away in an hour or so, so why not spend less on it. By the way you Dunkin’ lovers you can pick up Dunkin’ Donuts coffee from Sam’s Club really cheap, a 40 oz bag for less than $20.
9. Last but certainly not least if you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month anytime during the year you should stop using the card and cut it up. If carry a balance you are buying things you can’t afford. You should save for the things that you really want.
Have these options helped you reduce your spending? What ways have you reduced your spending?